Educational Software

 

The violent events of 2000 marked a growing need for teaching the Principles of Conduct during Armed Conflict. An especially high demand for instruction in the Principles of Conduct came immediately following operation Defensive Shield conducted in 2002 in the regions of Judea and Samaria. The Ground Forces Command of the IDF approved the development of a new set of interactive training software for the dissemination of the Law of War and the Principles of Conduct. This software was developed by the International Law Section of the Military Law School together with the Training Development Unit, a technology oriented division of the IDF. The main concept behind the development of this software was to allow interactive self-tutoring within the combatant units themselves. The underlying notion was that such software would significantly increase exposure to this material within the IDF and create a certain level of familiarity and understanding of these norms throughout the armed forces, thereby reducing the dependency on oral lectures delivered by officers of the Military Law School (which, until the development of the software, were almost the exclusive means of teaching).

 

The Principles of Conduct was the first subject for which a software package was developed and related to the following headings of conduct that integrated principles of international law, Israeli domestic law, and the IDF's Ethical Code –"The Spirit of the IDF":

  • Military Objectives/Targets;
  • Necessary Force and Collateral Damage;
  • Soldiers may only use weaponry issued by the IDF;
  • Human Dignity;
  • Religious and Cultural Property;
  • Pillaging is Absolutely Illegal;
  • POW’s, Detainees, Surrenders and Arrested Persons;
  • The Wounded and Sick;
  • Soldiers Must Protect International Aid Workers;
  • Persons with Unique Status; and
  • Soldiers Must Report all Violations of this Code.

 


The Principles of Conduct interactive software was intended to be as user-friendly as possible, portraying real-life scenarios that junior commanders and soldiers are confronted with on a daily basis. The software is both unique and effective in that it is capable of reaching large numbers of soldiers dispersed geographically, due to increased access to computers. The computerized lesson begins with the eleven rules of conduct, after which each rule is illustrated with a relevant movie clip. This is followed by six multimedia simulations, along with a series of questions to be answered in line with the Principles of Conduct. The software was developed in close cooperation with IDF field commanders, in order to ensure effectiveness. Several versions were created each of them specifically designed for senior commanders, junior commanders, non-commissioned officers, and reserve troops. In light of considerable interest from foreign armies after its release and presentation, the software was later also translated into English.

 

In 2006, following the completion of the Disengagement, the Military Law School launched a new cumulative training software on international law and the Law of War. The subjects contained in this software package are:

  • Dfinition, structure and elements of Public International Law;
  • The Laws of War;
  • The Political Branch;
  • The Military Branch;
  • Definition of International Criminal Law;
  • The International Criminal Court ;
  • Universal Jurisdiction; and
  • Cmmand Responsibility.


The software is designed to educate IDF officers, especially during officer training courses. The concept was to teach, through the software, the fundamental subjects within the Law of War and to follow it up with oral lectures that allow for questions and answers relating to specific combat situations.